I did some research to find ways to do away with the ugliness. I found that you can adhere fabric to a mouse pad using Mod Podge. It is a fairly simple process. My mouse pad had a type of plastic coating on the top so it was stiff. I think the same process would work for one that is more of a fabric type material on top. But you may want to do a test first.
Here are the steps:
1. Cut the fabric close to the size of the mouse pad.
2. Brush the Mod Podge on the mouse pad in an even coat.
3. Lay the fabric on top and press to remove any bubbles. (Be sure you take the time to get the bubbles out or you will have a rough spot that will be uncomfortable.) You may want to use something that rolls - a brayer, rolling pin or glass.
4. Let it sit for about 5 minutes
5. Brush an additional coat on top of the fabric to seal it.
6. Let it dry for several hours.
7. Trim the fabric
8. Add an additional layer of Mod Podge to seal the fabric one last time and be sure to get the edges coated.
9. Let dry completely. (If any parts are not coated add another layer of Mod Podge).
10. Use an emory board to sand down any rough edges.
I use my mouse pad constantly and have had no trouble with the fabric peeling up or fraying on the edges. The Mod Podge gives it a surface that can easily be wiped down.
My challenge to you is don't settle for an ugly mouse pad. Create one that makes you smile every time you look down.